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How Does Food Affect Your Mood?

  blog post author icon   blog post published date icon   03/18/23

Mental Health  Nutrition  

Knowing how food affects your mood will give you a better understanding of what to pick when grocery shopping. And it allows you to make necessary changes to food that's not contributing to a positive mood.

After a recent scientific study, 32% of patients who ate a healthy diet no longer have symptoms of depression. Building a better lifestyle is about creating a healthy mindset. But, it's easy to overlook eating healthy when you have mental health conditions.

The key to a healthy lifestyle is eating treat food like chocolate in moderation and filling your plate with nutritional food at meals.

Here is how to find the best foods to eat.

Does What You Eat Affect Your Mood?

Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental health conditions globally; food can majorly change your mood. Understanding how food affects your mood would help if you learned about serotonin. This chemical is produced in the gut and sends messages to your brain.

For example, if you only eat high-sugar foods, you don't benefit from fruits and vegetables. This is why it's common to feel low without a balanced diet.

Your brain needs micronutrients and vitamins to function correctly. Here is a list of the critical micronutrients to include in your diet:

  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Potassium

If you skip meals, you start feeling irritable and can develop low blood sugar. The best way to eat is to have three balanced meals daily with the right nutritional snacks in between.

Food is often used for calming nerves if you suffer from anxiety, so avoiding high amounts of caffeine is important. Balance cups of coffee with fresh fruit and vegetables so your brain isn't overstimulated. There are also certain foods like chocolate to avoid late at night, as this will increase your anxiety before sleeping.

What are the best foods for a healthy mind?

What Foods Support a Better Mood?

Fatty fish full of omega-3 acids should be part of a healthy diet. Salmon and tuna are great sources of omega-3. But you can also find healthy fats in olive oil and avocado.

Fermented foods promote healthy gut production, so adding things like sauerkraut and kimchi is essential. Drinks such as kefir will also help your gut; you can mix it with fruit for a sweeter taste.

Leafy greens are versatile and can be mixed with fatty fish and nuts for a healthy meal. Kale and spinach are great as they can be prepared in several ways. You can cook leafy greens or eat them raw.

For a sweet treat, dark chocolate is the perfect substitute for sugary snacks. Plus, you can get the benefits of mood-boosting compounds. So, you can enjoy the things you love without the sugar rush that leaves you feeling flat.

Mixing berries with dark chocolate is the ultimate healthy dessert, and it's great for your mental health. The vitamin C in berries will help control stress levels and release anxiety.

Nuts and seeds have always been an important part of nutrition, and they have amino acids for producing serotonin. Keep a bunch of almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and walnuts so you can have something to uplift your mood quickly. It's a good idea to store nuts and seeds on your office desk so they are nearby.

Most of the time, people reach for sugary snacks when bored or tired. Even though we've all been guilty of having treats, your mood will be affected over time without the right food. Take away the temptation by refilling your kitchen with these healthy foods, and you'll notice a difference in your mood swings.

What Foods Are a Deterrent?

Processed foods are known for having lots of sugar and salt. These convenient foods might be easy to prepare but don't increase your serotonin. Your body can also suffer from inflammation after too many processed foods. After a long time, prolonged inflammation will cause high-stress levels and appetite changes.

Be careful with packaged salad dressings and sauces. Checking the label will ensure you know the ingredients and can avoid sauces with lots of sugar. Sometimes the label will say "sugar-free," but there are artificial sweeteners. If you have anxiety or depression, it can heighten your stress response.

Fried foods can increase depression, which makes them something to avoid in your diet. Instead of having fried chicken, you can switch the meat by putting it in the oven. This still allows you to have the benefits of protein in chicken without the side effects of fried food.

Choosing whole wheat bread over white bread is another way to decrease sugar content. The flour can cause a spike in your blood sugar, so eating bread for lunch can leave you feeling up and down. For a more stable mood, you can eat wholewheat or quinoa which is also an excellent source of fiber.

Being mindful of your drink choices is essential for mental health. Energy drinks are tempting if you need a caffeine boost but can lead to weight gain and depression. Minimize drinks with sugar and artificial sweeteners. Consider increasing your water intake up to 1/2 your weight in ounces of water each day.

Exercising regularly and taking note of your mental health will also give you more control over your moods.

Consider adding high-quality supplements to your diet to give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive if you are not already eating a well-balanced whole-foods diet.

Learn More About How Food Affects Your Mood

It's vital to discover more about how food affects your mood if you suffer from anxiety or depression. A long-term healthy lifestyle is built on small habits that are repeated daily. You must fuel your body with nutrients from the moment you wake up to feel happy.

Supplements are a great addition to your diet if you find the right seller with professional testing. Invest in your health with our range of products and give your brain the love it deserves.

headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

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